Straight out untruths
I would like to congratulate reporter Denise Dion for the accuracy of her reporting of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Imputation Credits session at the Merimbula RSL Club on February 4.
As an active member of the Labor Party, I strongly support the right of any citizen to protest against something with which they do not agree. With this democratic right comes a responsibility to present your arguments honestly and accurately.
Sadly this is not what occurred at the RSL.
As I approached the club I was confronted with a poster thrust into my face saying "Stop the Retirees Tax". This is a straight out lie. There is no proposal for a tax on retirees. Well known Liberal lobbyist Jon Gaul and several of his colleagues failed to declare their Liberal Party allegiance when speaking, further destroying any last vestiges of credibility and integrity.
The Chairman Tim Wilson failed to disclose that he had been lobbied by Geoff Wilson of Wilson Asset Management to coordinate the inquiry sessions with his own lobbying sessions. It has since been revealed that not only is Tim Wilson related to Geoff Wilson but also has investments with his business.
Secondly, the registration form for those wishing to make submissions led people to a Liberal Party website.
Thirdly, this taxpayer funded inquiry has been used to raise money for the Liberal Party. Letters to Self Managed Fund Trustees from Liberal MP Jacob Falinski are enticing voters to donate to the Liberal Party for an audience with Tim Wilson.
Some of those attending the Merimbula session claimed they had structured their finances so they would not be a burden on the taxpayer. This is surely disingenuous. By rating no tax or Medicare levy, they are relying on others who do pay tax to provide the essential services of government such as health, aged care, welfare, security and so on. Taxpayers are funding cash payments from the ATO to shareholders living off investment income and who do not pay tax.
I left the meeting disgusted by the blatant use of fear untruths and self-interest on display.
John Gelling OAM
I, like Claire Lupton (Letters, 29/1), buy the local paper twice a week. A newspaper is how I like to read my news. Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed fewer local stories in the newspapers and now I know why. It is most unfair that readers of the newspapers miss out on stories that are online. I hope this will change.
Marie Wickenton, Brogo
Dismiss science at peril
Peter Hartcher writes ”The hard right isn’t leaving the Liberal Party – they own it” (SMH, 2/2) and in the same paper Peter Hannan’s article is headed “The right time: climate change action the rallying cry of emerging independents” and Zalli Stegall, Oliver Yates, Julia Banks and of course Kerryn Phelps are all “small l” liberals.
The Coalition federally are not only dismissing the science in their refusal to act effectively on climate change but they are dismissing the majority view of their own constituents. John Hewson is quoted as saying that he told his party when an MP that he was “an Australian first, Liberal Party member second”.
I myself would go further and say that we should first consider our world. This Earth on which we and all life exist is in grave peril and unless significant action is taken coming generations will rightly say that we have failed them.
The source of pollutants is broadly down to the US and China with about 30 per cent each and the rest of the world together making up the remainder.
We all need to play our part and dismissing our 1.3 per cent contribution, as Abbott has, would, if all other countries had that attitude, mean that no action is taken.
Other countries are taking action. Germany has just announced plans to phase out coal power at significant initial cost, but at what saving in the long run.